Campus pro-Israel group head loses Nevada GOP congressional primary

David Brog finished with just over 17% of the vote, a distant second to Mark Robertson’s commanding 30%.

 CUFI executive director, David Brog, speaking at the group's Israel Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., July 13-14, 2015.  (photo credit: COURTESY CUFI)
CUFI executive director, David Brog, speaking at the group's Israel Policy Conference in Washington, D.C., July 13-14, 2015.
(photo credit: COURTESY CUFI)

David Brog has overseen pro-Israel organizations with significant Republican backing for more than two decades, but his own attempt to make inroads for himself as a GOP candidate fell short Tuesday in Nevada.

Brog lost his Republican Congressional primary race in the state’s 1st district to former Army colonel Mark Robertson, in a spirited eight-way race to represent the GOP in what’s likely to be a competitive general election for the recently redrawn Las Vegas-area district. Brog finished with just over 17% of the vote, a distant second to Robertson’s commanding 30%.

Background

The Jewish director of the campus Zionist group Maccabee Task Force, which opposes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement targeting Israel, Brog is the former longtime director of the powerhouse Evangelical Zionist group Christians United for Israel. In addition to his pro-Israel bona fides, Brog had connections to Nevada’s most powerful Jewish family: Casino magnate and major pro-Israel donor Sheldon Adelson, who died in 2021, and his wife Miriam were major backers of the Maccabee Task Force, and Brog is often considered an Adelson protege.

But how much support Brog’s own campaign actually had from the Adelson family is unclear. Jewish Insider reported that there were no FEC records of Miriam Adelson donating to Brog’s campaign (though a super PAC with unnamed backers did support him). Brog himself was a relative newcomer to Nevada, having previously lived in Texas.

 Miriam Adelson pictured next to her late husband Sheldon Adelson (credit: FLASH90) Miriam Adelson pictured next to her late husband Sheldon Adelson (credit: FLASH90)

Brog had the endorsement of a major figure in former president Donald Trump’s orbit, former secretary of state Mike Pompeo, but he did not have the official Nevada GOP endorsement, which instead went to also-defeated candidate Carolina Serrano.

Robertson, who is Mormon, is also a member of the Republican Jewish Coalition leadership council, and called himself “very supportive” of Israel and a proponent of “Judeo-Christian values” during the campaign. He strongly opposed the Iranian nuclear deal reached under president Obama.